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Dornoch overcomes long odds, wins Belmont Stakes at Saratoga

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Given a stalking trip under jockey Luis Saez, Dornoch held off Mindframe and favorite Sierra Leone to pull off an upset victory in the 156th Belmont Stakes.

Given a stalking trip under jockey Luis Saez, Dornoch held off Mindframe and favorite Sierra Leone to pull off an upset victory in the 156th Belmont Stakes on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga, Springs, N.Y.

Sent away at 17-1, Dornoch was up on the early pace set by Seize the Gray, who led the 10-horse field out to a fast 22.99 seconds for the opening quarter mile. The two led the field heading into the far turn with Mindframe just a length off the pace.

Dornoch and Seize the Gray led the field into the homestretch as Mindframe swung wide to mount his stretch run. When Seize the Grey faded after passing the 1/8th pole, Dornoch shifted inside and readied for a challenge from Mindframe.

However, Mindframe lugged out in deep stretch, giving Dornoch just enough of a gap to win the race by a half-length. He posted a winning time of 2:01.64 in the 1 ¼-mile test.

Sierra Leone, the post-time favorite, mounted a late charge as is his style to finish third. However, the colt could not overcome a poor break as he was shuffled back to ninth.

Dornoch’s win gave trainer Danny Gargan his first ever Triple Crown win, while Saez earned his second Belmont Stakes win. The win also gave former major league outfielder Jayson Werth a win in a Triple Crown race as he is a part owner in Dornoch.

The race was run at Saratoga because of the ongoing reconstruction of Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.